I got the nickname ‘Golden Boy’ before winning the golden ball in Africa: Abdul Razak

1978 Africa Footballer of the Year Abdul Razak has disclosed that he was nicknamed the Golden Boy in 1975 and it took three years before he won the Ballon d’Or in Africa (which means the Golden Ball in French).

Abdul Razak

Abdul Razak received a call-up to the national team of Ghana in 1972 at a time he was playing for Kumasi Corners Stones and he became an integral part of the team.

“I was the youngest person in the Black Stars team back then. But I managed to break into the team,” Razak told Pulse Ghana.

“I quite remember in the qualifiers for the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in 1975 Ghana had to play several games. In a home game against Mali, we defeated Mali 4-0 and on that day I put up one of the best performances of my career. I crowned a good display with two goals and on that day I was unstoppable.

“The best commentator in Ghana at the time Harry Thompson who was working for the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) was thrilled with the class I showed on the field, so nicknamed me, the ‘Golden Boy’.

“It was on the lips of every Ghanaian after the game and various commentator continued to call me by that name.

“And during the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations, the name 'Golden Boy' became more popular when I scored the goal that handed Ghana the qualification to the final against Tunisia and because it was a Golden Goal commentator dubbed it the Golden Boy scores the Golden Goal. I subsequently won the Best Player of the Tournament.

“All these happened before I was named the 1978 African Footballer of the Year.”

Razak joined Kumasi Asante Kotoko in 1975, before his move to New York Cosmos

The 63-year-old Abdul Karim Razak was the second Ghanaian player after Ibrahim Sunday to win the African Footballer of the Year award.

The African Footballer of the Year award is also called the Ballon D’Or, which was the African version of the Ballon d’Or which was solely for European players before it was extended to include players from other continents.

The African Footballer of the Year was instituted by the France Football Magazine (the organisers of the Ballon d'Or) before CAF took over in 1993.

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